Since first appearing in Detective Comics 225 in 1955, Martian Manhunter (real name J’onn J’onzz, as in John Jones) is no stranger to comic book fans. He has appeared in movies, games, television shows, and so on. He is a fan favorite for one main reason: he is unbelievably powerful. So powerful that people want to know his limitations. Does he even have any? Let’s take a look at what Martian Manhunter’s weaknesses may be.
As he is from the Green Martian race, he seems invulnerable. He can shapeshift, read minds, and turn invisible. There is no stopping this guy. Except for one exception: fire. Yes, a little kid with a bow and arrow can take down Manhunter as long as he remembers to light the tip with daddy’s Zippo. But how do we know this? Martian Manhunter’s weakness of fire goes all the way back to Detective Comics 233. He tries to guilt two murderers into confessing by projecting himself as a ghost in the form of the person they murdered. Unfortunately he encounters a kerosene lamp that causes him to lose his martian powers and becomes helpless. (This comic issue also happens to have the first appearance of Batwoman, a character introduced as a love interest to make it clear that Batman and Robin are not gay lovers. Yes, seriously.)
Let’s take a closer look at this in action. In Tower of Babel we get a close look at the weaknesses of the entire Justice League of America, and Martian Manhunter’s weaknesses is no exception. In fact he his the first of the bunch we get to see mentally tortured through fear. In this case nanobots light him on fire as he runs through a forest and causes a forest fire. This is portrayed in the most hilarious way possible, as he runs naked between the trees causing immense damage.
Another example takes place in Superman/Batman 29. After someone appearing to be J’onn J’onzz tries to kill Batman, he decides to use a flamethrower on Martian Manhunter to be sure it was not him who attacked him. At this point we can see that the fire does not scare him or stop him per se but rather shows that it was an obstacle, perhaps, psychological, that he just had to overcome. It is cool though that we get to see Batman fighting Manhunter in one form or another.
Beyond fire, it is hard to say what other weaknesses Martian Manhunter may have had. Feel differently? Leave a comment and let me know.